The "snowball effect," and no we aren't talking about the weather.
Small changes make the biggest difference. You might be saying, "yeah, yeah, yeah, I've heard that already." But don't roll your eyes at me yet. Let's use dieting as an example. People usually start diets with great intentions and ambitions of seeing success. Unfortunately, after 2 weeks of the said diet, people tend to fall back into their old "easier" eating schedule, ultimately leading the person to feel like a complete miserable failure. Diet plans fail to work because they ask for a drastic change in lifestyle when humans, just like any other animal, are creatures of habit.
Let's crunch some numbers to prove how the little things make the most sustainable difference. Think of it like this: if you put 2 packets of sugar (23 calories in one packet) in your coffee and you drink 3 coffees a day, don't skip the coffee all together like your diet plan might say. First ween off the sugar a little (or substitute with raw honey, more on that later) just a tad. Rather than using 2 packets, use only one packet. Your coffee may not taste as good at first, but trust me, you will become accustom to it, and you have lowered your daily caloric intake by 69 calories a day. Let's say you only drink coffee 5 days a week. You have just cut out 345 calories. That may seem insignificant, but there are 3,500 calories in one pound of fat, so in roughly 11 weeks, you could look at cutting a pound if everything else with your eating remained consistent. Now because we are educated on the benefits of exercise, let's cut our coffee back to just twice a day, and add in a 5 minute simple exercise routine instead of the third coffee. We are just as awake as with the coffee AND we lost calories instead of gaining them, and everything snowballs from there.
This tried and true method can apply to all aspects of life. Introduce a minor behavior change TODAY to your daily routine, and let it grow from there.
Written by Andrew Slezak
Certified Personal Trainer, Roam Fitness